About us

Welcome to the School of Optometry & Vision Science!

If you are interested in a health career that is community-based, personally challenging, financially rewarding and lets you make a real difference in your patients' lives every day, come and study the Bachelor of Optometry at the University of Auckland.

About optometry

Optometrists are primary healthcare practitioners who work to ensure the best eye and vision health outcomes for patients. Optometrists examine not only your eyes, but the whole visual system, and can diagnose and manage a wide range of issues related to vision, including prescribing glasses and contact lenses.

However, optometrists can also treat a range of common eye diseases, prescribe medication and support patient health in other ways, like detecting early signs of diabetes through a normal eye check.

Optometrists must be able to communicate easily and effectively as a diverse group of people need help from optometrists, like children, older adults and people who are blind or have partial sight.

Aotearoa’s ageing population means there is an increasing demand for vision care to support good health and help prevent disease.

Vision Science

In addition to the clinical focus of the BOptom, the programme is underpinned by a strong foundation in vision science. Understanding vision science gives you the skills and tools for lifelong learning to support your clinical practice as the practice of optometry evolves in future and adopts new technologies.  

About our school

The Bachelor of Optometry is the only programme in New Zealand which is accredited to allow graduates to register and work as optometrists in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.

An intake of only 60 students per year allows us to support the principles of whakawhanaungatanga. We foster a collaborative, relationship-based learning environment between students and staff, and our close links with a range of optometry organisations means students are welcomed as new members of the profession early in their studies.

Students receive a thorough grounding in theory as well as gaining a broad range of hands-on clinical experience both on-campus at the Eye Clinic at Grafton and in a variety of off-campus locations which include public hospitals, ophthalmology practices, schools, and other locations around New Zealand and overseas.

Our research

We offer research opportunities in clinical optometry and vision science topics to high-performing students and experienced optometrists who wish to explore an area of interest part-time or full-time at postgraduate diploma, masters, and PhD level.

Our research projects are led by internationally recognised scholars who collaborate extensively around the world and receive prestigious funding to pursue their research.

Our staff include leaders in the fields of visual neuroscience, clinical vision science, community eye health, refractive development including myopia and amblyopia, colour vision, and molecular biology of the retina. Our research has contributed to breakthrough developments and treatments in areas such as myopia management and the use of AI-based diagnostic imaging to improve eye health outcomes for patients.

Current key research themes within the school are:  

  • Clinical research
  • Community eye health
  • Refractive development
  • Vision neuroscience
  • Retinal disease
  • Colour and vision